I rolled the bike around the corner of the garage, saw something move, and spotted an exceedingly agitated Ring-necked Pheasant atop the shredded leaf compost:
He ran back and forth on the pile inside the cage, apparently having forgotten he had wings, while I fumbled with the camera. Just after I took the picture, he managed a short-field takeoff and flew away through the trees away from me.
A pair of female pheasants then emerged from the forsythia behind the pile at a dead run, made a hard turn to their left, and ran off in the general direction the male had flown. One of the pair seemed smaller and may have been a chick this year, but it’s hard to say.
We haven’t seen any pheasants in the yard before and hope they return …
Taken with the Canon SX-230HS through a layer of deer netting, alas.